Saturday, 27 August 2011

Daggers 1-1 Torquay: Paying The Penalty

Dagenham & Redbridge gained another point after a somewhat frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Torquay United earlier today. The match was effectively a game of two halves, with the Daggers outplaying Torquay in the first and vice versa for the second.

Before Kick Off
After a knackering morning of playing football, a interesting 3-3 draw I might add, I was set for Victoria Road as the sun come out down Victoria Road. Walking into the ground I picked up a double helping of programmes and the usual pointless golden goal & 50/50 ticket before making my way over to the Sieve where I met up with a couple of mates, with about 15 minutes until kick off. The main news over the tannoy was that Danny J Green was starting in the absence of Medy Elito through yet another injury. One of the major plus points however was hearing Peter Gain being named on the bench, a return was imminent for the passionate Irishman.

The Daggers lined up as follows: Lewington, Ogogo, Doe, Arber, McCrory, Danny J Green, Luke Howell, Oliver Lee, Jon Nurse, Gavin Tomlin, Sam Williams.

The teams came out as the sun shone down once more, the Daggers hoping to continue their good early season form against a well placed Torquay side. The one noticeable thing was the height of Danny Stevens of Torquay, he should have been sponsored my miracle grow!

It was Torquay, attacking the Bury Road end who were fastest out of the blocks getting a couple of shots away on Chris Lewingtons goal, but nothing to call the former Letherhead man into action. A Torquay man got into the box amongst the players and got a shot away, but it went past the post. The Daggers began to get themselves in the game, the ball being passed out to the left on a number of occasions for Danny J Green to bamboozle his defender and get a cross in, but both times it happened in the opening 10 minutes, Torquay's keeper claimed it easily.

Gavin Tomlin then produced a magnificent chance for Sam Williams, a run from the half way line, dodging defenders before laying the ball out to Williams when he could have shot himself, Williams' cross come shot was blocked well by a Torquay defender who slid it out for a Daggers corner which came to nothing. Gavlar was then involved again, bursting into the box before lashing his shot high over the bar, if only we were playing Australian Rules! Once again, just minutes later the ball fell to him outside the box, running across his body he hit hit it with a slice, again high and wide. Gavin Tomlin seemed fired up for this game, maybe something to do with the fact he played on loan at Torquay last season, scoring 4 goals in his time their and taking them to the play off final, before losing to Stevenage.

After some more very neat play down the sides, the Daggers made the breakthrough. Abu Ogogo played the ball out to Jon Nurse on the right, who rolled it out from under his foot. His beautiful inswinging ball found the highlighted head of Sam Williams who's magnificent placed header nestled in the far corner of the goal. Cue jubilation from 3 sides and Sam himself who had netted his first Daggers goal with a fine header. It was no less than what we deserved after being on top for a 15 minute period and we were rewarded with the lead.

Just minutes later Abu Ogogo crossed the ball from the right in acres of space to Danny J Green who's well taken volley flashed over the bar. Just minutes later Eunen O'Kane was booked for Torquay for "unsporting behaviour", or in short, doing something idiotic. Torquay then had a chance, Ateino picked the ball up on the far right hand side before dribbling in a few yards and unleashing a fantastic and powerful shot that just cleared Lewingtons far post. He was given far too much space and if it was on target, may have had Lewington worrying a lot more than he was.

That was effectively the end of a good first half in which the Daggers dominated proceedings, the attendance was announced as 2012 with 222 coming from the South West club, a good effort, but it didn't look that many! We were "treated" to a mascot race at half time, although it was the horniest and weirdest mascot race I've ever seen. Half of the mascots were having a fight with eachother whilst the others were frolicking, make of it what you will but they all finished together, "aww". Half times rang round next and Crawley were losing to everyones disappointment, possibly the biggest use of sarcasm ever. That was basically the half time, nothing much, although at least Pulse have disappeared for the time being.

The teams re emerged for the second half, the Daggers would now be attacking the Bury Road End whilst Torquay would be going forward towards their own fans in the Marcus James Stand. The first action was a short corner by Gavin Tomlin to Damien McCrory who whipped it in, but it came to the usual nothing.

Minutes later Jon Nurse saw his headed effort go wide of the target as the Daggers began to push for a second goal to take the game beyond the Gulls. Torquay were now beginning to establish a foothold on the game, Lee Mansell and the previously booked O'Kane both getting shots away but both blocked by both central defenders as they went looking for an equaliser. A ball was then swung in from the left, I'm oblivious to who swung it in, but it found the head of a Torquay striker, Rene Howe I think who directed it low and hard, but it was well saved by Lewington.

Then there were two almighty scrambles in the box. The first looked as though Lewington had made yet another fantastic save or a defender had made a sensational block, either way it was cleared out and McCrory booted it up field to safety. It found Danny J Green who after some good hold up play found Sam Williams. Williams turned his mane on the left before cutting in and curling a shot just over the far post and into the terrace, a very good move. Then it all happened once again, once again it was down the left. A ball in caused panic and another scramble but this time I'm certain Chris Lewington made two fantastic saves to keep the attempts out. I say it every week, but he will be a top goalkeeper when he sorts out his dodgy kicking, a bit of Robbo retained!

Martin Ling then made a change, looking to press home Torquays second half dominance, new loan signing Billy Boden coming on for the lively Taiwo Ateino. The Daggers made a couple of subs of their own, Peter Gain coming on for his first appearance after his injury lay off, replacing Luke Howell who had a decent enough game in the middle. Then Danny J Green got a decent shot away but it went over the bar, not testing the Gulls stopper. Then the Daggers second sub in a 5 minute period, Gavin Tomlin who had a mixed game, creating some good opportunities and bamboozling defences with his footwork but missing numerous chances once more, came off for Hayley, or Brian Woodall as he's more commonly known.

The major talking point of the game came minutes afterwards. Billy Boden was fouled by Mark Arber on the edge of the penalty box, mass confusion in the Sieve occurred, but the referee pointed to the spot. Looking back on it, I believe the foul was outside the box, let me state here I am fairly sure it was a foul, whether it was inside or outside the box was another question as the margin between the two looked tighter than a ducks arse. Anyway, the "biggest" striker in the league, Rene Howe faces Chris Lewington, the tension was there, all four sides waited in anticipation. Howe stepped up and put it straight down the middle, Chris Lewington dived to his left and the Gulls has got their deserved equaliser.

At this point John Still opted to make his final sub of the game, taking Danny J Green off who had a decent game, creating a lot of play down the left, he was replaced by Damien Scannell who had such a positive impact a week previous away at Bradford City. It was a nervy 10 minutes until the end, with Torquay on the up and the Daggers looking nervy. Abu Ogogo undeservedly went into Mr Sheldricks book for a foul that never deserved a caution, luckily nothing came of the free kick.

That was the last action of the half, with both sides not able to find the second goal to secure the win and the three points. Upon reflection it probably was a fair share of the spoils. It was a tale of two halves, the Daggers winning the first and Torquay winning the second. We sat back too much in the second half for my liking, not playing with the same flair we did in the first 45, and that cost us dearly, at the end of the day I was more than satisfied with the point.

The problem is that it's the same old story of missed opportunities, Gavin Tomlin missed a hatful today and there were numerous other chances that went begging. If it wasn't for Chris Lewington once again we wouldn't have even come away with a point, he's received a lot of plaudits for his performances recently and for good reason, Robbo's boots were big ones to fill, he's come in, filled them, and gone up a size, brilliant performance worthy of his man of the match award. Another standout for me today was Sam Williams, I'm a big fan of him and he had a terrific game. His hold up play is superb and he wins plenty of headers, something that previous forwards at Victoria Road didn't. He deserved his goal today and what a fine one it was.

My final mention today goes to Jon Nurse, wishing him luck for Barbados' World Cup Qualifiers next weekend, it's great to have an International at the club regardless of what Nation he plays for. His input on and off the pitch will undoubtedly be missed next weekend, but we'll do our best. Let's hope he's thinking of us playing in Hereford next weekend whilst he's enjoying Barbados.

I hope you've enjoyed reading and I'll be back to report on the Daggers Johnstones Paint Trophy game against lowly Leyton Orient in a week and a half.

Something to end on, if someone would have offered you 10 points out of the first 15 on the 5th August with our current injury crisis, would you have taken it? Of course you would.

Come on the Daggers!


  1. whats wrong with Pulse most fans seem to like them

  2. Most fans seem to like Pulse for a certain reason and I can almost definately tell you it's not for their dancing.